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EzioAs
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SSD recommendation.

Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:49 pm

Hello,

I've been looking to get my first SSD (yes, I know it's 2017 already) and I'm looking into a SATA based SSD. Nothing too fancy, just a simple drive for Windows and non-game applications. I've been thinking of getting a 180GB drive but those are kinda scarce nowadays, so a 240/256GB drive should be good too if there are no good 180GB drives. So far, I've looked into the Intel Pro 1500 180GB, Intel 520 Series 180GB and Sandisk SSD Plus 240GB because they're relatively cheap. Of these 3, which would you recommend? If you have other suggestions, I highly welcome them.

Thanks for any input.
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:29 pm

$150 0.525 TB Crucial MX300
$90 0.275 TB Crucial MX300
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:39 pm

..if I was just getting one drive in a smaller size (256 GB or less) and sata III, I'd spend considerably more and get the Samsung 850 Pro.  Not only does it have really fast 4k reads and writes (which is desired for the OS), but also because it has some of the largest cell-size NAND chips in use (similar to larger SLC NAND): which should (overall) result in enhanced longevity.

http://www.esaitech.com/samsung-mz-7ke2 ... aQodGroCIQ

..if you are just going for cheap, then the Sandisk should be good.
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:49 pm

EzioAs wrote:
Sandisk SSD Plus 240GB because they're relatively cheap.

Thanks for any input.

Rubbish as a boot drive-also avoid anything planer TLC and ram-less.
My first choice would be Samsung 850EVO.
If your budget won't stretch that far perhaps a Samsung 750EVO.
or most MLC should be OK...................................
For a boot drive aim for one that has at least 8000-4K IOPS at QD1
good luck
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:56 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
$150 0.525 TB Crucial MX300
$90 0.275 TB Crucial MX300

Have you come across a review of that 0.275 Crucial anywhere??
Thanks
 
EzioAs
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:17 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
$150 0.525 TB Crucial MX300
$90 0.275 TB Crucial MX300


So, your go-to recommendation for budget SSDs are the MX 300s? The 275GB is a bit pricier than I would've liked but it's pretty good ($/GB). I'm definitely considering it.

CScottG wrote:
..if I was just getting one drive in a smaller size (256 GB or less) and sata III, I'd spend considerably more and get the Samsung 850 Pro. Not only does it have really fast 4k reads and writes (which is desired for the OS), but also because it has some of the largest cell-size NAND chips in use (similar to larger SLC NAND): which should (overall) result in enhanced longevity.

http://www.esaitech.com/samsung-mz-7ke2 ... aQodGroCIQ


Hmm,thanks for the suggestion but it's way too expensive for me.

EDIT: Actually, I've found the 750 EVO and 850 EVO prices are quite competitive (albeit, slightly higher $/GB) to the Crucial MX300 in some stores. They still cost more than what I really want to spend, though.

HERETIC wrote:
Rubbish as a boot drive-also avoid anything planer TLC and ram-less.
My first choice would be Samsung 850EVO.
If your budget won't stretch that far perhaps a Samsung 750EVO.
or most MLC should be OK...................................
For a boot drive aim for one that has at least 8000-4K IOPS at QD1
good luck


Thanks for the knowledge. How about the other 2 on my initial post? The Intel SSD Pro 1500 series doesn't seem to bad, in my opinion. It's an old product, sure but I don't old as long as it's durable.
Last edited by EzioAs on Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Yan
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:22 pm

It seems that you may have an older system. If so, keep in mind that your motherboard may support only SATA II (3 Gb/s) and not SATA III (6 Gb/s). You won't be able to profit fully from a fancy SSD. An SSD is still worthwhile, of course, but there's no point in paying more for features you can't use.
 
EzioAs
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:29 pm

Yan wrote:
It seems that you may have an older system. If so, keep in mind that your motherboard may support only SATA II (3 Gb/s) and not SATA III (6 Gb/s). You won't be able to profit fully from a fancy SSD. An SSD is still worthwhile, of course, but there's no point in paying more for features you can't use.


Hard to say it's not old, but it's not as old as you surmised :P. I have an Ivy Bridge system (i5-3570K and Z77 motherboard). All SATA ports are SATA III (some from the Intel chipset, some from Asmedia, I think. Need to check that for confirmation).

EDIT: Just checked MSI's product page. Apparently I have 4 SATA III (2 from Intel chipset + 2 from Asmedia) and 4 SATA II (Intel chipset), which is fine. This is the only SSD purchase I'm considering while I'm using this particular setup. I can just plug the SSD to the SATA III (Intel) port and my HDDs into the the rest
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CScottG
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:01 am

EzioAs wrote:
CScottG wrote:
..if I was just getting one drive in a smaller size (256 GB or less) and sata III, I'd spend considerably more and get the Samsung 850 Pro.  Not only does it have really fast 4k reads and writes (which is desired for the OS), but also because it has some of the largest cell-size NAND chips in use (similar to larger SLC NAND): which should (overall) result in enhanced longevity.

http://www.esaitech.com/samsung-mz-7ke2 ... aQodGroCIQ


Hmm,thanks for the suggestion but it's way too expensive for me.

Ok, something more sensible then..

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016NY7UUO/?tag=pcpapi-20

(..and if that's too much, give me your address so I can beat you over the head with a nerf bat! ..and with a running start no less.) :P


Notably beyond the price, it's an MLC drive (not TLC) AND it's a good 4k drive:

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/7418/z ... ndex4.html
 
EzioAs
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:17 am

CScottG wrote:
Ok, something more sensible then..

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016NY7UUO/?tag=pcpapi-20

(..and if that's too much, give me your address so I can beat you over the head with a nerf bat! ..and with a running start no less.) :P


Notably beyond the price, it's an MLC drive (not TLC) AND it's a good 4k drive:

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/7418/z ... ndex4.html


Seems like a good suggestion. Too bad it's not available in a lot of online retailers in my country (Malaysia). The one that does have it on their listings shows the drive being sold out. Bummer. The price on the page seems pretty good for a 240 GB drive too :cry:
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:24 am

EzioAs wrote:
CScottG wrote:
Ok, something more sensible then..

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B016NY7UUO/?tag=pcpapi-20

(..and if that's too much, give me your address so I can beat you over the head with a nerf bat! ..and with a running start no less.) :P


Notably beyond the price, it's an MLC drive (not TLC) AND it's a good 4k drive:

http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/7418/z ... ndex4.html


Seems like a good suggestion. Too bad it's not available in a lot of online retailers in my country (Malaysia). The one that does have it on their listings shows the drive being sold out. Bummer. The price on the page seems pretty good for a 240 GB drive too :cry:

Oooh, I've always wanted to visit Malaysia! :lol:
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:31 am

CScottG wrote:
Oooh, I've always wanted to visit Malaysia! :lol:


You're really serious about hitting me with a bat then :o ? You won't find me so easily 8)
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CScottG
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:36 am

EzioAs wrote:
CScottG wrote:
Oooh, I've always wanted to visit Malaysia! :lol:


You're really serious about hitting me with a bat then  :o ? You won't find me so easily 8)

Damn, where's that google earth stalker app when I need it? :P  (..it is a *nerf* bat.) :wink:

I should point out that Amazon (US) is also listing the drive as a 1-2 month order, probably part of the reason it's so inexpensive. :oops:  (..if you can wait, perhaps that place you found it from that's "out of stock" will still order it for you? ..assuming you can wait of course.)
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:48 am

EzioAs wrote:


Thanks for the knowledge. How about the other 2 on my initial post? The Intel SSD Pro 1500 series doesn't seem to bad, in my opinion. It's an old product, sure but I don't old as long as it's durable.

Intel has always had a good reputation for SSD's...but both those SSD's are really old,I'd be suspicious they might be second hand or refurbished.........
Sandforce and Intel 25nm Nand. The Nand is good even if a little slow,but I've never been a fan of Sandforce.......................................................
 
EzioAs
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:26 am

HERETIC wrote:
EzioAs wrote:


Thanks for the knowledge. How about the other 2 on my initial post? The Intel SSD Pro 1500 series doesn't seem to bad, in my opinion. It's an old product, sure but I don't old as long as it's durable.

Intel has always had a good reputation for SSD's...but both those SSD's are really old,I'd be suspicious they might be second hand or refurbished.........
Sandforce and Intel 25nm Nand. The Nand is good even if a little slow,but I've never been a fan of Sandforce.......................................................


Thanks for the intel (hah). Yeah, I checked the review on the Pro 1500 series, it's a refurbished unit. Makes sense since it's actually targeted to OEM only, I think. So I should look into newer stuff right? Got it.

So far, I'm thinking of getting the Zotac if I can find one or if not, then maybe get the Crucial MX300.

Thanks people.
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:00 am

I have had good luck with Crucial SSDs, and the latest TR System Guide is recommending Mushkin Reactor SSDs:

http://techreport.com/review/31389/the- ... -edition/5
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:46 am

Aether wrote:
I have had good luck with Crucial SSDs, and the latest TR System Guide is recommending Mushkin Reactor SSDs:

http://techreport.com/review/31389/the- ... -edition/5

So have I-writing this on a old M400-Crucial have dropped the ball lately thro-their BX200 is a bit of a lemon.
As for the reactor the 1TB would make a really good game drive-I couldn't recommend the 500GB for a boot drive through
and definitely not anything smaller.
It's getting harder to find/recommend small boot drives today-Example 850 Pro is the only 120/128 size drive that's any
good,and can't recommend it as you can get a 240/256 drive for around the same price................
If they keep shrinking soon 500 will be the minimum.(not actually shrinking the dies-they staying the same just more bits per die)
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 11:42 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:
$150 0.525 TB Crucial MX300
$90 0.275 TB Crucial MX300

While the MX300 series is a great choice for storage or laptop drives, I'd still recommend the MLC Mushkin Reactor series for system drives in SATA desktops.

EDIT: Yes, Samsung EVOs (any series) make great system disks because of the 4K performance, but you're going to pay a large premium for less space overall. The only real reasons to consider the EVOs is if either or both 1) you have the $, and 2) you expect to fill up the drive completely.
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:55 pm

You can pick up 256 GB Mushkin Reactors for $70 all day long. No point in spending more for a system drive (especially coming from a HDD) unless you enjoy benchmarking versus actual use.

I've never understood the fetish with ridiculous write speeds. Sure, they're nice, but as long as they are passable, you'll never notice the difference. Your drive will spend 99.9999% of its life reading, spending 50% or more per GB to make that game install go very slightly faster or that Windows update to go very slightly faster is an utter waste of money.

Mind you, this is coming from someone with an 8-way RAID 0 array of SSDs for game installs, a 480 GB stupid fast boot drive, and another 240 GB stupid fast applications drive. The write speeds just don't matter. My HTPC with a bottom of the barrel Adata is essentially indistinguishable for normal use, and write speeds are never the issue.
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:29 pm

Waco, while I agree with your post in-general, my understanding is that Windows background file operations depend on 4K write speeds and nothing else. Supposedly this makes the UI feel smoother since there isn't any background stalling.

How true that is, hell if I know. (All my system disks are either MX300's or Samsung EVOs - I don't have a SSD with crap write speeds to test with) 

If anyone with knowledge of this could offer an opinion I'd be grateful.
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:39 pm

Vhalidictes wrote:
Waco, while I agree with your post in-general, my understanding is that Windows background file operations depend on 4K write speeds and nothing else. Supposedly this makes the UI feel smoother since there isn't any background stalling.

How true that is, hell if I know. (All my system disks are either MX300's or Samsung EVOs - I don't have a SSD with crap write speeds to test with) 

If anyone with knowledge of this could offer an opinion I'd be grateful.

My HTPC uses a junky MLC Adata drive from a few years back. It might do 150 MB/s on a good day, sustained, and the random 4K writes are pretty bottom of the barrel as well.

It's completely unnoticeable. Subjectively, the system feels every bit as fast as my desktop with full-fat top of the line drives.

Beyond that, I'm not sure I believe the hypothesis that background ops in Windows are 4K writes (let alone random 4K writes). Is there any data to support it? Granted, if you have a crappy SSD from a decade ago that can stall for seconds at a time, that's one thing...modern cheap drives don't do that.
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:42 pm

It's a SSD urban legend. I wish I could find the source, but it's probably the same person that said "8 glasses of water per day". Totally unverifiable. I'll Internet Search around and see if I can find the places I read that.
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:49 pm

FWIW, I still refurbish older systems using secondhand Intel 320 drives off eBay.  (There are hundreds of these available cheap, because they get pulled from old business-class laptops built around 5 years ago.)  The performance, particularly 4k reads and writes, is not fast by modern standards.  Makes no difference in ordinary use that I've ever seen.
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CScottG
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:56 pm

It's just derived from files system's preferred cluster size, which in the case of NTFS is 4k.  

It's sort of a "rule of thumb" thing.  It's not the parameter, it's a parameter for generating an improved aspect of disk system performance. Latency is a huge factor as well.

Here is a little commentary on disk usage (in relation to that):

http://www.thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/ ... s-bluff/2/
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:50 pm

CScottG wrote:
It's just derived from files system's preferred cluster size, which in the case of NTFS is 4k.  

Just as importantly, the standard x86 page size is 4KB, which means anything that is demand-loaded (ie, all executables, memory-mapped files, etc) is loaded in 4KB chunks (which was one of the motivations to make the NTFS cluster size 4KB). The link you provided mentions this obliquely when talking about DLLs (which are demand-loaded executable code) though it talks about 4KB write speed, which I assume is a typo (executable code is read-only, so 4KB read performance is what matters).

If you're low enough on available physical memory that swapping to the page file is happening, that happens in 4KB chunks as well (obviously, since the page file contains pages and pages are 4KB). And while that isn't as much of an issue today, back in the days when machines didn't have a lot of physical memory and the page file got a lot of use (and especially when the page file was on a HDD), 4KB IOPS made a huge difference in the apparent smoothness of a system (all the more so since bits of the OS itself were getting swapped in and out in 4KB pages -- these days, much of the OS image is in Large/Huge pages and tends to stay resident).

Note that this doesn't mean that all file operations are done in individual 4KB increments -- the file system is generally smart enough (and the file APIs allow programs to specify) that contiguous parts of a file (be they data, executable, or whatever) get loaded as one operation, which is why defragmenting a hard drive mattered so much. With modern SSDs having such high sequential transfer rates (and being essentially immune to fragmentation at the file-system level), other factors come into play to make things less than instantaneous (decompression on the CPU, for example). But as always, the system is only as fast as its slowest aspect; sometimes that's getting the code (or data) that happens to be in that one page that isn't yet in memory, and that's where 4KB performance (particularly latency) still matters. (But only to a degree -- all modern SSDs are so fast that you're unlikely to notice much of a difference except in rather unusual / contrived cases).
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:19 pm

EzioAs wrote:
Hello,

I've been looking to get my first SSD (yes, I know it's 2017 already) and I'm looking into a SATA based SSD. Nothing too fancy, just a simple drive for Windows and non-game applications. I've been thinking of getting a 180GB drive but those are kinda scarce nowadays, so a 240/256GB drive should be good too if there are no good 180GB drives. So far, I've looked into the Intel Pro 1500 180GB, Intel 520 Series 180GB and Sandisk SSD Plus 240GB because they're relatively cheap. Of these 3, which would you recommend? If you have other suggestions, I highly welcome them.

Thanks for any input.

I like Samsung but it's more of a "that's what I'm used to" thing...  Crucial are good too.  

Frankly, if I am reading you right and you're just looking for a basic Windows machine without gaming or other "performance" sorts of things, any of the three you have listed there should be fine.  Pick the best price you can find.  All three will blow away your current HDD, and all three should last reasonably long.  

As someone else mentioned, make sure to find out what your current hardware will actually support...  there is no point in paying for higher speed in a drive if your machine can't actually take advantage of it.
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:38 pm

UberGerbil wrote:
CScottG wrote:
It's just derived from files system's preferred cluster size, which in the case of NTFS is 4k.  

Just as importantly, the standard x86 page size is 4KB, which means anything that is demand-loaded (ie, all executables, memory-mapped files, etc) is loaded in 4KB chunks (which was one of the motivations to make the NTFS cluster size 4KB). The link you provided mentions this obliquely when talking about DLLs (which are demand-loaded executable code) though it talks about 4KB write speed, which I assume is a typo (executable code is read-only, so 4KB read performance is what matters).

If you're low enough on available physical memory that swapping to the page file is happening, that happens in 4KB chunks as well (obviously, since the page file contains pages and pages are 4KB). And while that isn't as much of an issue today, back in the days when machines didn't have a lot of physical memory and the page file got a lot of use (and especially when the page file was on a HDD), 4KB IOPS made a huge difference in the apparent smoothness of a system (all the more so since bits of the OS itself were getting swapped in and out in 4KB pages -- these days, much of the OS image is in Large/Huge pages and tends to stay resident).

Note that this doesn't mean that all file operations are done in individual 4KB increments -- the file system is generally smart enough (and the file APIs allow programs to specify) that contiguous parts of a file (be they data, executable, or whatever) get loaded as one operation, which is why defragmenting a hard drive mattered so much. With modern SSDs having such high sequential transfer rates (and being essentially immune to fragmentation at the file-system level), other factors come into play to make things less than instantaneous (decompression on the CPU, for example). But as always, the system is only as fast as its slowest aspect; sometimes that's getting the code (or data) that happens to be in that one page that isn't yet in memory, and that's where 4KB performance (particularly latency) still matters. (But only to a degree -- all modern SSDs are so fast that you're unlikely to notice much of a difference except in rather unusual / contrived cases).

This.

Also, just because writes are 4K, doesn't make them hard on SSDs. Only large-stride 4KB writes randomly across the disk tend to do that, and filesystems are pretty good about aggregating writes into larger buffers. 4K random read performance is in the noise in terms of specs, you can't buy an SSD that isn't fast enough at that to make it a non-issue.
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 7:27 pm

Good catch! (UberGerbil) ..I didn't read it that closely. :oops:

-yes, random READ performance in the context of DLL's.

(..this isn't to say that 4k random write performance isn't also important, even games do a LOT of this ..though I doubt the overall disk system load is sufficient to task the system in most instances when this occurs, unless you have a boat-load of other applications hitting it at the "same" time.)
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:23 pm

For a budget drive I liked the $74 Adata SP550 It regularly gets some good sales on it. It uses an 8GB SLC fast write cache so it delivers surprisingly good performance for a cheap budget drive. I used to not be a fan of cache SSDs, but considering everything budget is TLC anyway I'm coming around to them. For casual users the 8GB cache is never going to be exceeded.
 
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Re: SSD recommendation.

Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:26 am

Kougar wrote:
For a budget drive I liked the $74 Adata SP550 It regularly gets some good sales on it. It uses an 8GB SLC fast write cache so it delivers surprisingly good performance for a cheap budget drive. I used to not be a fan of cache SSDs, but considering everything budget is TLC anyway I'm coming around to them. For casual users the 8GB cache is never going to be exceeded.


I looked at the Bench (AnandTech) between the SP550 and the MX300. It seems like the MX300 is overall faster and in some cases, significantly. However, the price is super attractive (not US btw) and definitely in the ballpark of what I'm comfortable spending on. I'll probably grab this one.

cphite wrote:
I like Samsung but it's more of a "that's what I'm used to" thing... Crucial are good too.

Frankly, if I am reading you right and you're just looking for a basic Windows machine without gaming or other "performance" sorts of things, any of the three you have listed there should be fine. Pick the best price you can find. All three will blow away your current HDD, and all three should last reasonably long.

As someone else mentioned, make sure to find out what your current hardware will actually support... there is no point in paying for higher speed in a drive if your machine can't actually take advantage of it.


As I've mentioned, I do have SATA III and it's not like this is a basic Windows machine without gaming. I do game on this machine. The SSD is just as a boot drive for Windows and non-gaming applications. I'll still install all my games on HDD for the time being (I don't really mind the slightly slow loading time), and buy a much bigger SSD (2TB probably) much later as a game drive.
Intel Core i5-3570K | MSI Z77A-GD65 | 16GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz | Palit Jetstream GTX 1060 6GB | Corsair HX750i | Corsair Obsidian 750D | 320GB WD Blue | 1TB Samsung F3 | 2TB WD Black

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